Sunday, August 12, 2012

The sea did not part, no water to wine


Back in July I wrote about how I’ve lowered my carb intake and have actually had great success without feeling deprived at all.  It is time in the plan that I’ve been following to begin to add carbs back into my diet in a slow and controlled way.  Yay!!  I began this phase on Monday and I was so excited to be able to eat some of the carbs I’ve been missing.  Last week I wrote about how I’ve been expecting perfection and I felt it was necessary for me to get past that before I began this next phase.  I needed to realize that a post prandial reading of 140 is ok!  It didn’t take me very long to change my thinking and relax about my glucose readings, which is a good thing because this week has been a rollercoaster ride!

I decided that I wanted to know exactly how the addition of carbs was affecting my glucose so I tested like a maniac, about 10 times per day.  Even though I was eating foods that I had previously been able to tolerate, the playing field had changed and I needed to again determine how my glucose would react.  

Let me insert here that it is extremely important for people with T2 to occasionally retest meals.  Even if you are able to tolerate a certain amount of pasta or bread or an apple now doesn’t mean that you will always be able to tolerate them.  Diabetes can progress and either your insulin production can decrease or your insulin resistance can increase.  It’s important to spot check from time to time.  Don’t assume!

Ok, beginning on Monday I was supposed to eat roughly 15 grams of carbs at each meal and before bedtime.  These carbs would be in addition to any non-starchy vegetables I was eating, ie: whole wheat bread, fruit, beans etc.  It was interesting to me that it was a bit difficult to figure out what to eat!  I didn’t really want the carbs…I know, weird.  I won’t bore you with all the gory details but let me say that my glucose did not perform as it should, based on what this plan says.  I was prepared to be ok with 140 after breakfast but I was not prepared to deal with 198!  Yup, my glucose spiked to 198 an hour after eating 2 pieces of low-carb toast with cream cheese and ham.  I started at 119.  I exercised for 30 minutes and it dropped to 80.  It was a rollercoaster of the worst kind.  I stuck with the plan all week but soon came to the conclusion that this just isn’t working for me.  I know, it takes a sledgehammer to the head for me to wake up.

I’ve decided to can the plan.  Beginning today I’m going to go back to eating what I know I can eat to maintain good glucose control.  Here’s the cool thing: if I hadn’t tried this plan I would never have realized that I can eat low carb and be satisfied!  This experiment was done to lower my fasting readings, which it did not do, however I still gained some invaluable experience and knowledge about myself during the process.  From today forward I will eat “no carb” breakfasts because, obviously, my body can’t handle morning carbs.  I will eat beans and fruit and low carb bread or tortillas throughout the day…if I want to.  I will not fear the carbs but I will control how many/what kind I eat at times that my body can handle them.

This has been an interesting experiment that I hope some of you will also learn lessons from, as in: 

·       There isn’t any one way to control diabetes that works for everyone.  This plan probably works really well for some people but it didn’t work for me.  That doesn’t make it a failure (or me either, for that matter).

·       No one can tell you what to eat or how to exercise in order to control your diabetes.  Only YOU can decide based on your own experimentation and glucose testing.  It’s ok to try out different ideas that you’ve researched but don’t expect them to be miraculous.

·       If something isn’t working for you, then STOP!  I could have continued this plan thinking that maybe things would straighten out eventually but I realized that I have no desire to deal with such high glucose readings that I know aren’t good for me.  I’ve had enough.

From today forward I am again in control of what I will eat.  No plan is dictating to me how many carbs I will eat or when I will eat them.  Kate is again free and it feels damn fine.  I am in control and I’m confident that I will steer this ship on a reasonable course and still allow for a few side trips that include a splurge now and then.

3 comments:

  1. I am a checklist person and I would REALLY like to just have a meal plan for....forever. With a little wiggle when necessary. Not realistic. I am trying to stay on a basic structure and see how it goes, right now is still such a learning curve. Reading your experiences helps.

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    1. Hey Paula, I know that it can be pretty frustrating. My best advice is to test, a lot, and see how some of your usual meals affect your glucose. From there you can make your own list or plan of the foods that you can tolerate. That's what I do. Good luck!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this - it has been very interesting and has helped me look more closely at what I'm eating. :)

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